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Nice Girl?

Nice Girl?(1941)

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In Stillwater, Connecticut, Professor Oliver Wendel Holmes Dana's household is a mess, as his housekeeper, Cora Foster, is the only one working efficiently. Oliver, the principal of the local high school, has three daughters, would-be actress Sylvia, mischievous Nancy, and quiet Jane. Jane worries that she is too much the "nice girl," as her boyfriend, Don Webb, is more interested in his custom-made car than in her. When the Van de Meer Foundation then sends scientist Richard Calvert to the Dana home to consider Oliver for a fellowship, the family is surprised to find that instead of the bearded scientist they had expected, Richard is a distinguished gentleman who immediately attracts Jane's fancy. His attention to her, however, is deflected by her two sisters and the arrival of Don. At the local Fourth of July celebration, Jane finally seems to gain the interest of Richard, only to lose it when she is called away to sing. Richard leaves for New York the next day, and Don offers to loan his car to Jane to drive him there. When Don's car malfunctions along the way during a rainstorm, Jane is forced to stay alone with Richard at his home. Dressed in his elegant sister's pajamas, Jane drinks champagne with Richard, but while she strikes a seductive pose, he remains a true gentleman. He then receives a phone call from his mother, and when Jane overhears him allaying his mother's fears by calling Jane "just one of the Dana girls," she feels a fool and rushes home. When she arrives in her hometown at the break of dawn, the horn in Don's car goes off, waking the entire town. Later that morning, Jane confesses all to her father, who is relieved that nothing happened and tells her that the town could use "some five cent scandals." At the charity bazaar, the gossip flows as freely as the punch, and the head gossip, postman Hector Titus, announces to the multitude that Jane and Richard are engaged. Jane then arrives at the bazaar, and is mystified when she receives congratulations from all. When Don goes to comfort her, she becomes upset by his "taking her for granted," and falsely confirms the engagement, showing a South Seas "wedding" ring as proof of her betrothal. Richard arrives in town, as his trip to Australia has been postponed, to inform Oliver that he has been awarded the fellowship. The two men enter the bazaar, where they mistakenly accept congratulations for Richard's engagement, not Oliver's fellowship. When Richard realizes what has really happened, he agrees to along with the deception until the townspeople try to force him and Jane into a quickie wedding. Thinking fast, they enact a "breakup" with the help of her father. The upset Don has enlisted in the army, however, so Jane goes to the local army post to find him. The two make up, then Jane sings for the soldiers, with special attention to her soldier.